HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - On September 16, Madison County Commissioners approved a new budget, and a huge chunk of that funding will go to law enforcement.
The budget is nearly $67 million. More than $36 million, which represents more than half of the budget, will go toward the sheriff’s office. Commissioners say as the county grows, so does the need for law-enforcement.
“I’m very proud of what we’ve done over the last eight years and that’s increased their salary to where we are recruiting deputies from other areas and were able to keep our deputies,” said Phil Vandiver.
In the new budget, members of the Madison County commission also set aside money to hire 20 more deputies to drive vehicles and patrol the streets.
“We are trying to get them hired as quickly as we can. There comes background checks with that making sure we get the best of the best,” said Brent Patterson.
WAFF pulled out our calculators and looked at all the numbers. The Madison County Sheriff’s office budget, including the cost to run and operate the jail, is just over $36 million.
That’s a lot of money. Not only will it pay for increased salaries and more employees, it will also pay for more vehicles and equipment every deputy needs.
“With everything that’s going on across the country with defunding law-enforcement nationwide we are very very fortunate and lucky here in Madison County with the commissioners that we have. Law enforcement is not cheap. Protecting the public is not cheap, so they understand that and I believe the citizens here of Madison County know that as well.” Said Brent Patterson.
Also approved in today’s budget for the fiscal year includes a 5 percent pay raise for every county employee. That also includes all of the county commissioners.
During the meeting, Phil Vandiver said he will turn the raise down he thinks the commissioners get paid enough including himself. There are lots of other expenses, including new sanitation vehicles.